Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The First Things I'll do when I get to Tbilisi....

I am flying to Tbilisi, Georgia on May 23rd!

I am incredibly excited- just have to survive the end of the semester with all the papers and exams and projects and MY THESIS...but then I will be free to fantasize about my summer. So, I took just a short break from work to get all my excited energy out on "paper" and share some of what I'm looking forward to the most.

When I get back to the Caucasus...

The first thing I am going to do is go to Fire Wok. Read here to see why this is completely logical.

Then, I will probably sleep for like 15 hours because I'll probably be very tired from 2+ days of traveling.

Then, I will wake up and go have dinner with my dearest friend Tornike at this restaurant called Machakhela with my favorite views of Tbilisi and super cheap wine. Yes, the wine is a very important component of feeling comfortable in Georgia again.

Machakhela, Old Tbilisi

Then, I will put on ugly, comfortable shoes and walk around Tbilisi for a couple of hours. Hopefully it won't be too hot yet...I would like to walk down Pekini, maybe shop a bit, of course walk through Leselidze/Old Tbilisi, go to Sioni Cathedral where I stole a blessing for my cross (should I apologize for that?), and walk near the river.

There is soooo much food I need to eat- namely khachapuri, khinkali, and pkhali- my three faves. Oh, also achma...hmm. I decided I will invite one friend to lunch/dinner until I've eaten all these things. Perfect strategy to catch up with people and also satisfy my cravings!

I will obviously have to spend a morning at Entree on Leselidze, eating a raisin croissant, drinking a latte, and messing with my blog as I did on the most productive of mornings last summer.

Then of course, a trip to Tbilisi Sea will be in order. My color from Costa Rica has already faded, and by the time I get to Georgia, land of gold-skinned beauties, I will definitely need to soak up some sun so I don't blind people with my pasty skin. Maybe I should start planning a weekend trip to Batumi...

I made this list of things I want from Georgia/Ossetia sometime in the fall when I was missing it particularly badly. Everything still rings true- can't wait to start checking things off!
  • 10 churchkhelebi for road trips
  • a Georgian Dream t-shirt (and a GNM t-shirt? Just to be fair)
  • an I <3 Vladikavkaz t-shirt
  • Nabeghlavi water
  • Picnic chocolate bars
  • Roshen chocolates
  • Natakhtari soda
  • WINE
  • cheap makeup
  • InCity dresses
  • new Georgian key chain 
  • I *Adidas sign* Vladikavkaz 

stuff like this basically summarizes why every day in
Tbilisi is a new adventure...and often hilarious...
counting the days!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

The Best Things in Ode to Fire Wok Tbilisi

Price: $
Quality: ****
Portion size: *****
Atmosphere: ** (it's a takeout place, come on)


They say the best things in life are free. Well, Fire Wok isn't free, but it's pretty darn close.

Fire Wok is my favorite place to eat lunch in Tbilisi. Well, actually, it's my favorite linner (lunch + dinner, come on, you know this). 
The portion size is absolutely enormous, definitely enough for two meals. I often would go to get a box around 3pm, just when the office started to feel the sleepiest, stuffiest, stickiest...and go sit on a bench to eat half of it, then I could finish the box around 7 for dinner!

So I should describe it, yeah? Fire wok is basically a build-your-own stir fry bar. You choose rice or delicious homemade noodles, what kind of meat you want, vegetables, and the type of sauce. A little multilingual Georgian girl takes your order in Georgian or Russian, puts it all in a little bowl, and hands it to chef (who speaks only Chinese and English), telling him in English what kind of sauce the customer wants. He dumps it all into a giant, flaming hot wok, and stirs quickly and consistently until it's done. Then it goes into a stiff paper takeaway box, and you get your food! All this bounty, what is easily two meals, costs how much? About $4. Yes. You read that right. FOUR DOLLARS.

It's a tiny storefront surrounded by clothing and used electronic stores. The only seating is a bar with 3 or 4 stools, and if more than 2 people come inside to order it gets hard to move. 
This place is incredible, and I just wanted to give it some credit. Two thumbs up, Fire Wok, five stars.

here is the king of noodles, O.G. of Tbilisi stir fry- chef

someone else's Fire Wok    :(

Fire Wok Tbilisi
20 Shalva Dadiani St. (near Freedom Square) 
16 Paliashvili St., Vake
Mon-Sat 12-9 pm